My fiancé and I are trying to plan our wedding day timeline.
We are getting married in a church and the cocktail hour and reception will be in an Irish Pub/Reception hall about 10 minutes away from the church. We are planning to do our wedding party photos and our individual bride and groom photos in the pub because it is absolutely beautiful and is honestly why we chose the venue. However, this poses a slight problem because we wouldn't be able to start cocktail hour while we were doing pictures because they are in the same room. My opinion is also, that we want to be at cocktail hour because that is the only part of the night that will be in the pub - the reason we chose the venue..
Originally, neither my fiancé nor I wanted to do a first look, which would honestly solve this problem. We are very torn, because we still very much want that moment of seeing each other for the first time down the aisle. Also, I don't know if I like the idea of taking pictures before we are actually pronounced husband and wife. Maybe I'm too traditional, it's just my opinion. My family and I are used to a gap where guests, especially those from out of town, are invited to go to the bride's parents house for snacks/drinks. That way, guests have something to do during that time and they are fed. However, my fiancé and his family are not used to any gap in between other than travel time. So, we are essentially trying to figure out how it could be possible to have our ceremony, take our photos (which are extremely important to me), entertain our guests, and enjoy our cocktail hour (at least half of it) in the space we love.
If we had a one hour to an hour and a half between the end of the ceremony and cocktail hour, is that really the end of the world? Guests could spend that time checking into their hotel (which is in between the church and the hotel), potentially take a shuttle to the pub (we have to look into this option for logistics), or at any one of six bars within 6 minutes walking distance to the pub, or my parents could host guests for snacks/drinks (although it seems redundant to me to do that and then host a cocktail hour). I've read a lot of comments on the gap already and understand people's opinions that they do not like it, but I don't like the idea of us (the two of us will be paying for cocktail hour) spending thousands of dollars on a cocktail hour in a space we love that we don't get to enjoy at all. The biggest problem though, is that we will be in the pub taking pictures and cannot have cocktail hour going on around us as we try and do that. There is also an outdoor space we can potentially set up for guests with food/drinks, but it is October in Upstate NY and you cannot count on the weather... it could be snowing.
Please, I'm not looking for comments about how rude I am for considering a short gap, I'm just looking for pros/cons or potential solutions. We are trying to come together to create a solution that will make our guests, both families, and my fiancé and I happy. It seems almost impossible to do all three. Call me selfish if you want, but I want our day to be what the two of us want, because at the end of the day it will be us looking back at the photos and reminiscing about our wedding day.